Sunday 23 May 2021
Please contact the parish to receive the newsletter by email each week.
Message from Canon Kristian
Dear brothers and sisters
This weekend we celebrate the culmination of the Easter Season with the Solemnity of Pentecost and the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and on the community of the Early Church. Although there are other moments in the Scriptures in which the birth of the Church is seen, such as when blood and water (understood as representing the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist) flowed from the side of Christ on the Cross, Pentecost is often referred to as the Birthday of the Church. Certainly, the picture given in the Acts of the Apostles of the diversity of peoples and languages held together within the unity of the Gospel message is emblematic of the unity of faith in the diversity of custom and culture that is the lived reality of the Catholic Church throughout the world today. Likewise, the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit given to every member of the faithful and the essential missionary nature of the Church – the impetus and drive to offer the message of salvation to all peoples, whoever and wherever they are – find their point of reference in the Pentecost experience too. We pray for a new outpouring of the same Spirit on the Church and on each one of us this Sunday.
Since the Spirit of God permeates the whole of God’s creation, Pentecost is also a very apt time to remind ourselves of the respect that is due to the gift to us of the created world and, sadly, of the misuse and abuse that human beings, who from the beginning of the biblical narrative were appointed by God as the Guardians of Creation, perversely have inflicted upon the same spirit-filled gift and continue to do so in our own day. Therefore, Bishop Mark, along with many of the Bishops of England and Wales, has issued a Pastoral Message on this theme to be read at all Masses this weekend. For those who cannot be at Mass this Sunday or who wish to take time to reflect on it personally, this Message can be found on the Diocesan Website and a video of Bishop Mark himself reading the Mass can be found on Youtube.
Over the coming weeks, with the easing of the Covid lockdown restrictions, it is hoped that we will be able gradually and carefully to resume some of our usual ways of celebrating Mass and to increase the number of seating places available in our two churches, since at present we are struggling to fit everyone in who wants to come to Mass. Any changes to the seating arrangements, however, will be done with the necessary caution so as not to make anyone feel uncomfortable and to ensure that we continue to do what we can to avoid spreading infection. Please do continue to take the necessary precautions when coming to church and to observe social distancing, especially when talking and engaging with others. I look forward to next month when, please God, we will be able to begin to organise some parish gatherings to consider the future development of our parish both from a spiritual and a missionary point of view, to strengthen our bonds of friendship with some social events and to restart our fundraising activities. If anyone has any particular ideas, suggestions or talents to be used in any of these areas, please do let me know. As Pentecost reminds us, each one of us is given a gift(s) to be used for the benefit of others and for the building up of the Church.
Last Sunday we concluded the celebrations of First Holy Communion which had been delayed by the Covid pandemic, and a new cohort – consisting of those children who should have been preparing to receive First Holy Communion in 2021 and those who are due to receive the Sacraments in 2022 – will begin their preparation after the summer. If you have children who are in Year 3 or above and who fall into either of these two categories, please fill in a First Communion Application Form, available on the parish website, and return it to the Parish Office as soon as possible.
It is important to remember that we still have one more major celebration for our young people. On Saturday 10 July, Bishop Mark will be coming to the parish to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on a group of our young people who have been preparing for this Spirit-filled and faith-enhancing celebration mostly via Zoom. Our parish is so blessed to have not only a large number of children, but also a good band of teenagers and young adults. Let us support them all with our prayers, encourage them in their life of faith, let them know that they are valued members of our parish family and promote the unique and precious contribution each of them is called to make to the Church and to its mission.
As always, Monika Manser has offered a guide to contemplative imaginative prayer on one of the readings of our Sunday Mass – most appropriately she has chosen the second reading taken from St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians concerning the diversity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and for those who appreciate the opportunity to see and talk with other parishioners online, the access details for the Parish Zoom Coffee Morning on Thursday at 11.00am are available from the parish office as usual.
Finally, please remember in your prayers those of our parish community who are sick and those who have died recently.
May God bless you all.
Coming to Church – “Hands/Face/Space”
When coming to church for services, please observe the social distancing rules, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and sanitise your hands frequently. Please also maintain an appropriate distance from others at all times, both inside the church and outside in the carpark.
If you would like to come to Mass at the weekends, please contact the Parish Office to book a place, either by telephone on weekdays between 10.00am-1.00pm, or by email. There is no need to book a place at a weekday Mass but, on arrival at church, please give your details to one of the stewards.
Easing of Restrictions
Over the coming weeks and months, provided that the pandemic continues to abate and with the increasing number of vaccinations, some of our normal practices will be gradually re-introduced at church and more seating capacity will become available.
From this week, the Bishops have decided that it is now permissible to return to the practice of the priest announcing “The Body of Christ” to each communicant separately, with the individual response of “Amen”. Likewise, the usual method of praying the Universal Prayer/Prayers of the Faithful is to be reintroduced.
Collection for Sick and Retired Priests
This weekend there will be the annual collection to support the sick and retired priests of our diocese. This collection is an expression of gratitude for the years of devoted service that these priests have given to our communities. Donations can be put into the baskets provided in church or be given contactlessly.
“The Whole Church Prayed Unceasingly to God” (Acts 12:5)
On each day throughout the month of May a different Marian Shrine around the world will lead prayers for an end of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Prayer will begin each morning with the symbolic gesture of the lighting of a lamp in front of a statue of Our Lady, followed by a reading from Acts 12, from which this initiative takes its name. The time of prayer will finish with probably the oldest extant Marian prayer Sub tuum praesidium. At Midday, the Holy Rosary will be recited for the particular intention that Pope Francis has assigned for that day. Evening prayer consists of the Memorare prayer and the handing on the witness of prayer to the next Marian Shrine.
The schedule of Shrines and Prayer Intentions and the two prayers are attached to the Newsletter so that we can unite ourselves in prayer each day the Catholics worldwide for the ending of the Pandemic.
“Thy Kingdom Come”
The days between the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord until Pentecost have in recent years become a worldwide ecumenical initiative of nine days of prayer. We are invited to participate in the Novena of Prayer , with specific daily intentions.
Bishop Mark has also highlighted the importance of this time for local evangelisation. In his Message to the Catholics of England and Wales, in the days leading up to the Novena, he invites us to:
“Think about five people whom you might begin to have a conversation with about your faith in Jesus Christ… pray for those five people during the nine days of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost and…when things have opened up a little more, look for an opportunity in the parish calendar, maybe a summer barbecue or a tea outside in the parish grounds that you could invite those five individuals to, so that they might begin to make a journey to encounter the Lord Jesus more deeply.”
A Church on Fire
Over 200 people joined us live for this day, so here is your chance to listen again or hear this challenging talk for the first time. Encouraged and inspired, you are invited to participate in deeper formation in missionary discipleship through Mission Made Possible, provided by the Diocesan Vicariate for Evangelisation and Catechesis. For further information about this, please email: Michele Thompson email@example.com or Pippa Worth firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homeless 4 a Night
The main event for this year’s sleep-out to raise funds for CHAT will be from Friday 25 – Sunday 27 June. The challenge is to sleep under the stars, if possible, for a minimum of one night to raise some vital money for those who may not have a roof over their heads. You can do this wherever you wish, with whoever you wish and for as many nights as you wish!
If you don’t feel able to sleep out in the open just in a sleeping bag on some cardboard, perhaps use a tent or even do some “sofa-surfing”. Youngsters could even create a “box fort/castle” to sleep in.
Once you have registered and are committed to raising a target of £25 sponsorship, CHAT will send you a fundraising welcome pack, which includes a beanie for each person sleeping.
Plymouth Diocese Catechetical Summer Camps
Since the start of Covid19, the Catechetical Summer Camps Committee has been looking at how to carry on the Camps within the limits of social distancing. Last year, it managed, like many parishes, to share the camp message via video conferencing and streaming in a somewhat limited way.
This year there are to be a variety of activities, primarily between 9-13 August, with different activities for each year group. The St Petroc’s Camp (years 11-12) is going to be a residential camp at St Rita’s Centre in Honiton. The Senior Camp (years 7-10), as well as a virtual week in August, will include a short Camp during the Autumn half term, hopefully at Grangehurst House, Buckfast Abbey. The Junior Camp (years 3-6) will be running a week of streamed sessions each morning and afternoon, followed a day at St Rita’s Honiton. See the attached Newsletter for more details about registration.
Parish Services and Events This Week
Saturday 22 May – St Rita of Cascia
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 23 May – Pentecost Sunday
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Anna Zielinska and her family – Entrustment of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface) Pro Populo
Eighth Week in Ordinary Time (B1)
Tuesday 25 May – St Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Holy Souls in Purgatory (Gorlo)
Wednesday 26 May – St Philip Neri, Priest
- Holy Mass at 12noon (at St Boniface) Genovaite Ramoniene RIP (anniv), Alfonsas, Jonas and Janina
Thursday 27 May – Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest
- Coffee Morning at 11.00am on Zoom
- Holy Mass in Polish at 6.00pm
Friday 28 May– Weekday
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 11.30am
- Holy Mass at 12noon
Saturday 29 May – St Paul VI, Pope
- Holy Mass at 6.00pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 30 May – The Most Holy Trinity
- Holy Mass at 10.00am Pro Populo
- Holy Mass at 11.30am (at St Boniface)